By Ed Tarkowski

The Fool In Proverbs 14:16

Prov 14:16 KJV "A WISE MAN FEARETH, and departeth from evil: but THE FOOL RAGETH, and IS CONFIDENT."

FEARETH - 3373. yare', yaw-raw'; from H3372; FEARING; MOR. REVERENT:--afraid, fear (-ful).

FEARETH ROOT - 3372. yare', yaw-ray'; a prim. root; TO FEAR; MOR. TO REVERE; caus. to frighten:--affright, be (make) afraid, dread (-ful), (put in) fear (-ful, -fully, -ing). (be had in) reverence (-end), X see, terrible (act, -ness, thing).

The fear spoken of here is a good fear, a holy fear. Fear here is a reverence for a standard backed up by judgement which one knows will be enforced by the one who set the standard. This fear says God's word and commands are His standard, and He is 100% serious about them causing the wise man to depart from evil. The fool, on the other hand, rages when called upon to depart from evil.

CONFIDENCE - 982. batach, baw-takh'; a prim. root; prop. TO HIDE FOR REFUGE [but not so precipitately as H2620]; fig. to trust, be confident or sure:--be bold (confident, SECURE, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust.

The fool's rage is his confidence to remain secure in his evil ways. Fear is the spear in Goliath's hand, while the wise man's confidence in God's word is what will disarm any Goliath, any evil whose main weapon is fear:

Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

The Fool In Proverbs 17:10

Prov 17:10 KJV "A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred STRIPES into a fool."

The wise man listens to and accepts reproof. You may have to tell him a few times, but a wise man will eventually accept reproof. The fool, though, will not listen to reproof, even to the point of heavy punishment or discipline. The stripes here are described as severe - a hundred of them:

STRIPES - 5221. nakah, naw-kaw'; a prim. root; lit. or to strike (lightly or severely, fig.):-- BEAT, cast forth, clap, give [wounds], X go forward, X indeed, kill, make [slaughter], murderer, PUNISH, SLAUGHTER, slay (-er, -ing), smite (-r, -ing), strike, be stricken, (give) stripes, X surely, wound.

One of the meanings is to "make slaughter." Another is "wound." Give the fool a hundred wounds of reproof, and he'll be more stubborn than when you started. The fool does not receive reproof or correction.

The Fool In Proverbs 17:16

is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?"

This Proverb is saying, "Why should a fool have money in his hand seeing he doesn't want wisdom at any cost." The point is he will spend money to proliferate his evils ways, but if he could buy wisdom for money, he wouldn't buy it anyway. If you made it that easy for a fool to get wisdom, he would still reject it. Not so the wise man:

Mat 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

The fool, rich and secure, would not spend a penny for wisdom, while the wise man would sell all he had to have the spiritual, eternal things of God. This wise man, in other words, would give his life for things which matter in life.

The Fool In Proverbs 17:24

Prov 17:24 KJV "Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are IN THE ENDS OF THE EARTH."

When I read this, I thought of the antichrist, who certainly will not be brought up as wise in the things of God. His eyes, therefore, "are in the ends of the earth." What does that mean? It means he has looked past wisdom and does not understand that the earth is the Lords's and all the fulness thereof. He wants it all, from one end of the earth to the other. Today, the church has taken up an agenda to rule the earth from one end to the other. What Jesus refused in the wilderness, they have accepted. God says that's foolishness. The Church has its eyes buried in the end of the earth.

The Fool In Proverbs 20:3

Prov 20:3 KJV "It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling."

The wise man does all he can to avoid strife. If we consider the wise man to be one who adheres to the word of God, then he would avoid strife by looking into the Scriptures for the wisdom to do so, wisdom from high that is described in James 3:17. The fool, on the other hand, doesn't avoid strife, but actually looks for a quarrel. As I've stated a few times before, it is a difference in wisdom as stated in James, with the fool's wisdom being

James 3:15 . . . . earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

The Fool In Proverbs 24:7

Prov 24:7 KJV "Wisdom is too high for a fool: HE OPENETH NOT HIS MOUTH IN THE GATE."

In the NIV, the Proverb reads,

Prov 24:7 Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the assembly at the gate he has nothing to say.

In the assembly at the gate, meaning the gates of a city, where the wise men of the city gather, the fool gets lost in the collected wisdom of the wise, and has nothing to say. He knows what will happen to him if he opens his mouth in such a gathering. But let him get you alone and you will find your pearls trampled on.

The Fool In Proverbs 26:1

Prov 26:1 KJV "As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is NOT SEEMLY for a fool."

SEEMLY - 5000. na'veh, naw-veh'; from H4998 or H5116; SUITABLE, OR BEAUTIFUL:--BECOMETH, COMELY, SEEMLY.

Snow is not suitable to summer, nor rain at harvest time. In the same way, honoring a fool is not a suitable thing to do.

The Fool In Proverbs 26:4-5

Prov 26:4-6 KJV "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

The reasoning here is simple. If the fool speaks folly, and you answer what he said out of his folly, you are like him. The wise man will answer the fool's folly with the word of God.

Prov 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

The same reasoning applies here. The fool's word's are not spoken out of the word of God but out of his folly, expressing his "wisdom" in foolish terms. The wise man's wisdom is fear of the Lord, and that is the wisdom he speaks.

The Fool In Proverbs 26:11

Prov 26:11 KJV As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

I really don't know why a dog returns to its vomit (not mention what they do with it), but I know why a fool does. Because if introduced to the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, he fails to walk in these and never gains a fear of the Lord because he failed to water the seed of God's word with more of the word. Other reasons are the things of the world may become too big for him to leave them behind, or persecution makes him hightail it and run. Two examples of these are as follows:

Luke 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Another example is found in Hebrews 6:

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

In Hebrews 6:6, the phrase "fall away" is used, the same phrase used in the root word from which "fool" comes from:

FOOL ROOT - 5034. nabel, naw-bale'; a prim. root; to wilt; gen. TO FALL AWAY, fail, faint; fig. to be foolish or (mor.) wicked; causat. to despise, disgrace:--disgrace, dishonour, lightly esteem, fade (away, -ing), fall (down, -ling, off), do foolishly, come to nought, X surely, make vile, wither.

Though the terms concerning the seeds sown are not as identical, there is no question the terms describing the fool are used, such as "fell by the way" in the parable and "fall down," "fall off," "fade away," and "come to nought" are used in the definition.

These are apt descriptions of what happens to the fool who returns to his vomit.

The Fool In Proverbs 27:22

Prov 27:22 KJV "Though thou shouldest BRAY A FOOL IN A MORTAR AMONG WHEAT WITH A PESTLE, yet will not his foolishness depart from him."

Bray means to grind, and this Proverb shows how ingrained the folly of a fool can get. What this is saying you can grind the fool in the mortar of the word of God just like you grind grain with pestle, and you still won't get his folly out of him because folly is still in every little tiny bit of ground grain. Some people are just stubborn and won't give up their ways.

The Fool In Proverbs 28:26

Prov 28:26 KJV "He that TRUSTETH IN HIS OWN HEART IS A FOOL: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."

Walking wisely is knowing our true condition is saved, but still having the fallen nature. The fool trusts in his own thoughts, understanding, meditations of his heart, reasoning and wisdom. But the wise know themselves, knowing that

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

The Fool In Proverbs 29:11

Prov 29:11 KJV "A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards."

An important point to remember when talking with a fool. The fool will always spill all his beans if you just let him go on. It is for the wise to listen carefully, watching for one point that will bring down all of the "wisdom" in one blow as David floored Goliath. That point is to be kept until he is done expounding his folly. That point, of course, must come from the word of God and be aimed at the one contradiction or outright falsehood that fool lets out.

Usually one proud of his knowledge is hasty in getting it said first, but this Proverb says of that man,

Prov 29:20 KJV "Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him."

Ecclesiastes, too says,

Eccl 10:12 KJV "The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself."

The Fool In Ecclesiastes

The Fool In Ecclesiastes 2:14-16

Eccl 2:14-16 KJV "The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all. {15} Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. {16} For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. AND HOW DIETH THE WISE MAN? AS THE FOOL."

Lest we get proud in debating a foolish man, these verses remind us that both the wise man and fool will die one day. In that they share a common trait, and both will be judged by God in the end.

The Fool In Ecclesiastes 7:6

Eccl 7:6 KJV "For as the CRACKLING OF THORNS UNDER A POT, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity."

LAUGHTER - 7814. sechowq, sekh-oke'; or sechoq, sekh-oke'; from H7832; LAUGHTER (IN MERRIMENT OR DEFIANCE):--DERISION, LAUGHTER (-ED TO SCORN, -ING), MOCKED, SPORT.

The laughter spoken of here is derision, a mocking laugh that makes sport of someone in a given situation. It is usually to imply superiority, lack of fear or one-upmanship, or "I'm really in charge of this situation." The wise man does not react to the purpose of the laugh, though, knowing it is possibly a sign of unsureness on the fool's part or exposure. The wise man considers this laughter as useless as the crackling of thorns used to burn a fire under a pot.

The Fool In Hosea 9:7

Hosea 9:7 KJV "The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred."

The meaning here of "the prophet is a fool" is not that the prophet really is a fool, for he is a true prophet that speaks the true words of God to the people. The same is true of the spiritual man. He truly is a spiritual man. But it is the people of Israel who say the prophet is a fool for what he is saying to them. Prophets very seldom spoke gracious words; they never said please obey this word of the Lord. Basically, they tod the people to do it or die.

How often have we spoken the prophetic word of God to people in its proper context, having been inspired by the Holy Spirit to do so, yet been called a fool in so many words? Note: it happened to the prophets of old.

The Fool In The New Testament

The Fool In Matthew 5:22

Mat 5:22 KJV "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, RACA, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, THOU FOOL, shall be in danger of hell fire."

FOOL - 3474. moros, mo-ros'; prob. from the base of G3466; DULL OR STUPID (AS IF SHUT UP), I.E. HEEDLESS, (MOR.) BLOCKHEAD, (appar.) absurd:--fool (-ish, X -ishness).

RACA - 4469. rhaka, rhak-ah'; of Chald. or. [comp. H7386]; O EMPTY ONE, I.E. THOU WORTHLESS (as a term of utter vilification):--Raca.

How often have we heard someone say to another, "Stupid!" or "Shut up!" or "Blockhead!" or, even though not mentioned in these specific terms, "Air head!" or "Worthless!" or "Jerk!" Jesus said if you have, you are in danger of judgement, possibly even in danger of the hell fires." Just because we are under grace does excuse us from Matthew 5:22. We are to love one another as He has loved us.

The Fool In 1 Corinthians 15:36

1 Cor 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 THOU FOOL, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

Here, in explaining the resurrection of the body, Paul says the man who asks such a question is fool for not using his common sense since nature itself points to the truth of the resurrection. The other reason Paul says he is a fool is for not knowing the truth as it is related in the truths of the word of God as delivered to the saints once for all.

FOOL - 878. aphron, af'-rone; from G1 (as a neg. particle) and G5424; prop. mindless, i.e. stupid, (by impl.) ignorant, (spec.) egotistic, (practically) rash, or (mor.) UNBELIEVING:--fool (-ish), unwise.

FOOL ROOT - 5424. phren, frane; prob. from an obsol. phrao (to rein in or curb; comp. G5420); the midrif (as a partition of the body), i.e. (fig. and by impl. of sympathy) the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extens. [also in the plur.] the mind or cognitive faculties):--UNDERSTANDING.

Paul is chastising them for the unbelief, fool here meaning "unbelieving." The root word for this word "fool" has to do with the understanding, and thus Paul is in essence saying they lack wisdom, which is fear of the Lord, which brings understanding.

The Fool And 1 Corinthians 3:18

1 Cor 3:18 KJV) "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, LET HIM BECOME A FOOL, that he may be wise." 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

FOOL - 3474. moros, mo-ros'; prob. from the base of G3466; dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (mor.) blockhead, (appar.) absurd:--fool (-ish, X -ishness).

FOOL ROOT - 3466. musterion, moos-tay'-ree-on; from a der. of muo (to shut the mouth); a secret or "mystery" (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites):--mystery.

Paul is saying here, if a man is going to be wise in the wisdom of this world, he'd be better off to keep his mouth shut as one that is stupid. Paul isn't speaking of anyone in particular, but generally to those who were looking to the importance of men in the church and using worldly wisdom to determine who the best leader was. He says they should not glory in men, but in the Lord Jesus Christ because all the men they were talking about and they themselves were His. God says it is foolish of them to think that they belong to anyone but Christ.

The Fool In 2 Corinthians 11:16, 23

2 Cor 11:16 KJV "I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little."

FOOL - 878. aphron, af'-rone; from G1 (as a neg. particle) and G5424; prop. mindless, i.e. stupid, (by impl.) ignorant, (spec.) egotistic, (practically) rash, or (mor.) unbelieving:--fool (-ish), unwise.

The same word for fool is used in this verse. Paul said no man should think of Paul as a fool, meaning, one who is stupid, ignorant or unbelieving in the things of God, nor was he being egotistical. But, then he turns around and says they should be the fool so his boasting would then have an effect. As we will see his boasting was not in himself, but in the Lord. Seven verses later, he then says he is now speaking as fool, comparing himself with the false apostles:

2 Cor 11:23 KJV "Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft."

The word fool here means:

FOOL - 3912. paraphroneo, par-af-ron-eh'-o; from G3844 and G5426; to misthink, i.e. be insane (silly):--as a fool.

FOOL ROOT - 5426. phroneo, fron-eh'-o; from G5424; to exercise the mind, i.e. entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by impl. to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intens. to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience):--set the affection on, (be) care (-ful), (be like-, + be of one, + be of the same, + let this) mind (-ed, regard, savour, think.

Paul here is entertaining himself with this comparison with the false apostles, saying he is a fool for this kind of bragging because he tells of his abundant labors, immeasurable stripes, frequent imprisonments and much more. This, I would imagine, was in comparison to the false apostles, who were puffed up with special revelations. He was saying that this should show who the true apostles were, with the false apostles not suffering these things. We currently have that situation in the church today to a lesser degree.

The Fool In 2 Corinthians 2:16

2 Cor 12:6 KJV "For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me."

The word fool here is 878 above. Paul says he will not go beyond his "bragging" of what he has suffered as a true apostle, that he wouldn't be egotistical or unwise and go beyond that which was true. He says he wouldn't be a fool by doing that, but then, 5 verses later, he says he has become a fool in his glorying. Why the change?:

2 Cor 12:11 KJV "I AM BECOME A FOOL IN GLORYING; YE HAVE COMPELLED ME: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing." 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

He said they pushed him to this glorying, into becoming a fool because they knew of his hardships in relation to the false apostles and they should have been glorying in him because all he suffered was for Christ, the gospel, and the, that they might be saved..

The Foolishness Of God

Paul was a fool for Christ. All that he did he did to glorify Christ and bring others to Him. In 1 Corinthians 1:18, he wrote,

1 Cor 1:23 KJV "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks FOOLISHNESS;"

Foolishness - the mark of a fool,. The Greeks would not accept the word of God and became fools in their rejection of it. The idea that there could be salvation in a dead man was to them ridiculous. But Paul said those who were foolish in rejecting the message of the cross are perishing because they didn't believe in the resurrection:

1 Cor 1:18 KJV "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

It was those who became wise by accepting the message of Christ crucified and risen that were being saved through God's foolishness of the cross.

The Jews and the Greeks looked to worldly wisdom, seeking to find salvation in it, but Paul said

1 Cor 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 KJV "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."

Through the cross, God made the wisdom of this world foolishness. You may have noticed throughout these talks that many times I used wisdom in quotes representing the wisdom of the fool. This is why. God made the world's wisdom the wisdom of the fool by sending His wisdom to earth in the Person of His Son. What is the wisdom of this world? Folly. What is God's wisdom? I guess we could call it holy foolishness

1 Cor 1:25 KJV "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

Here we have what we started out with. The fool is one who rejects the commandments, the words of God toward man:

1 Cor 2:14 KJV "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

In the end, all the wise of this world will become fools in the coming and appearance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He will have caught the wise of the world in their craftiness as He comes to rule the world:

1 Cor 3:19 KJV) "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."

End Of The Fool